For President Lyndon Johnson, 1968 was a year of calamity, including the hijacking of the USS Puebloin international waters off North Korea. After a fierce attack by the North Korean Navy, the lightly armed spy ship was captured and its 83 crewmen taken hostage, imprisoned and tortured for nearly a year before being released.
How and why did the Navy, the National Security Agency and the Johnson administration place the Pueblo in such an untenable situation? What drove Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s autocrat, to gamble on hijacking a ship belonging to the world’s most powerful nation?
Drawing on extensive research, including summaries of White House meetings and conversations, the author answers these questions and reviews the events and flawed decisions that led to Pueblo’s capture.